I have learned a few things about cooking with wine and other alcohols by exploring these global recipes and by watching some of my favorite chefs on the Food Network, the Cooking Channel, or Create. I have known for many years that the first rule in cooking with wine is to choose one that you like to drink and not a “cooking wine,” although I have to admit that I do have a bottle or two of “good” cooking wines in my pantry for “emergency” situations. You need to consider the extra salts and additives, if you elect to use them and certainly do so sparingly. A few more tips: use wine for marinating vegetables and meats (or use at room temperature to tenderize), use for basting with melted butter or oil, and make sure to reduce wine slowly over low heat in pan or pot to evaporate alcohol (1/2 cup of wine down to 2 tablespoons reduction).
Additions/Omissions: used beef and veal and a really good Sauvignon Blanc for stew. I did change the cooking method, as I sometimes do, either using a crock pot or Dutch oven for soups and stews. For this stew, which requires layering of flavors, I used a Dutch oven which I started on medium heat on the stovetop and finished in a preheated 350oC oven for about an hour.
Taste Test: very good
Zip Facts about Bosnia and Herzegovina:
- When the XIV Olympic Winter Games were held in 1984 in Sarajevo, the capital city, it was the first Winter Olympics to be held in a communist country, then Yugoslavia. Bosnia and Herzegovina gained their independence from Yugoslavia in 1992
- The official currency, the Bosnian Convertible Mark (BAM), cannot be bought or exchanged outside of the country
- The difference between a Bosnian and a Herzegovinian is not an ethnic distinction, but a regional one
- “Celebratory gunfire” is still shot into the air before and after big events such as weddings and birth receptions
- Bosnia and Herzegovina boasts the world’s tenth highest coffee consumption per capital. Rakija, Bosnian plum brandy, generally thought to have “health” benefits, is consumed and offered to guests with abandon